Residents of Arizona town protest amid rumors of bus carrying immigrant children

The Associated Press

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau speaks to the media as protesters gather near the entrance to juvenile facility in an effort to stop a bus load of Central American immigrant children from being delivered to the facility, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Oracle, Ariz. Federal officials delayed the bus with no details on whether the children will arrive or not. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)

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Babeu has generated controversy in the past over his immigration rhetoric. When five bodies were found in a burned-out SUV in his county in 2012, Babeu quickly declared that the killings appeared to be the work of a drug cartel. A few days later, it was learned that it was a murder-suicide of a suburban Phoenix family and not drug-related.

A massive surge in unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally began more than a month ago, turning the issue into a major political debate in Washington and in cities across the U.S.

In a state known for its strict immigration laws, including SB1070, which many call the "show me your papers" law, attitudes are just as contentious.

The fallout began in late May when reports surfaced that immigration officials were dropping off hundreds of women and children at Phoenix and Tucson Greyhound bus stations after they had been caught crossing the border illegally. Within a week, immigration authorities were flying hundreds of children who had crossed the border into Texas alone to be processed at various immigration facilities.

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